Not just a musician, but a creator. Known for his sleek vocal tones, sultry melodies and music which oozes with personality, Tafari leaves listeners in awe – somewhat apt considering his name means «He who inspires awe».
His influences range from artists like Prince and John Legend, to more contemporary artists like Lennon Stella and Charlie Puth, among others. Often described as a mix of Sam Smith and MNEK, Tafari creates deeply emotional songs that resonate across generations. «All of these artists are creating music that is pop in its own right, but also so different from each other», shares the musician with me.
Following the release of his two previous EP’s, both of which received considerable notoriety in Toronto, Tafari made a conscious decision to take a break in 2018 and focus on creating new material which explored his own personal soundscape. «I wanted to take a moment to feel uncomfortable and nervous again. That break was crucial for me». Now Tafari is unveiling the confident new single «Centrefold». The track sees the musician taking a different direction, to what he calls his own interpretation of pop music. Soaring with atmospheric synths and cascading pop melodies, Tafari showcases his impressive velvet vocals, with a hint of sass. «Centrefold» is the ultimate «go fuck yourself» send off to a self centred ex-lover. Tafari confides to LGBTQ Music Chart, «I’m a pretty calm guy, but when I get to my breaking point, it’s hard to hold my tongue. This song was written from sheer frustration of trying to let him down gently and realising that he just refused to understand».
Working alongside Brandon Unis (Juno Nominated. Billboard Charted. 1X Gold Producer / Mixer), Kelly Alaina and OBLVYN, in Edmonton, Alberta, Tafari was able to illustrate his desire to create something out of his usual realm, pushing his boundaries. He explains, «I was in a new city, new space and with new people. I think all those factors combined allowed me to step out of my comfort zone to try new things, be open to new sounds and melodies, and be comfortable to be whoever I wanted to be that day».
Thematically, Tafari’s music often details love, relationships, life’s hardships and finding self identity and worth in a world where most people feel they need to blend in to be happy. «I’m not afraid to write about those dark moments and truths that may be hard to hear. I would hope that my music would inspire someone to be less afraid of being themselves. Be less afraid of offending people by expressing how you truly feel. And to be less afraid of wanting the things you desire and deserve».
Tafari’s music has been nominated for a Toronto Independent Music Award, receives regular airplay on CBC Radio, with one of his singles being named one of CBC’s Most Influential Songs of 2016. He’s also performed with Shangela (RuPaul’s Drag Race) and New York’s up-and-coming pop star MAX, toured across North America and Asia as part of the award winning a cappella band Eh440, as well as having performed at Toronto’s Dundas Square and Massey Hall and receiving praise from Michael Buble himself.